. that, in short, summed up the state of affairs in washington today as the fiscal cliff deadline loomed, january first. it would mean more than $600 billion in across-the-board tax increases and automatic spending cuts. >> come the first of this year, americans will have less income than they have today. if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed. >> warner: this morning, the senate's democratic majority leader, harry reid, was blunt about chances for a deal. and he blamed house speaker john boehner. just before christmas, boehner floated his so-called "plan b"-- letting taxes rise on millionaires. but faced with opposition in republican ranks, he pulled it, and sent the house home for the holiday. reid charged today politics explained why the speaker had not yet called the house back. >> john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on a firm financial footing. it's obvious what's going on. he's waiting until january 3 to get reelected to speaker before he gets serious about negotiations. >> warner: a boenhner spokesman shot back, "harry reid should talk less and legislate more." but late today, republican leaders put out word that the house
went any hope of meeting the midnight "fiscal cliff" deadline. house republicans opted not to hold any votes on the issue tonight. so-- officially, at least-- more than $600 million in tax hikes and spending cuts begin taking effect tomorrow. in the meantime, senate republicans and the white house continue working on a possible deal. . >> are running out of time. americans are still threatened with a tax hike in just a few hours. >> new year's eve morning at the capitol began with a warning from senate majority leader harry reid. after a long weekend dush -- weekend of tense negotiations vice president joe biden had spent sunday dealing directly with the senate's republican minority leader mitch mcconnell. and those contacts continued today. by early this afternoon amid reports of progress, president obama emerged in a campaign style setting. >> today it appears that an agreement to prevent this new year's tax hike is within sight. but it's to the done. there are still issues left to resolve. but we're hopeful that congress can get it done. but it's not done. >> it was widely reported that the deal would include making the bush era tax cuts permanent for families with incomes under $450,000 a year.
leaders met face to face for the first time in weeks, in a last-ditch effort to avert the fiscal cliff. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the "newshour" tonight, we have the latest on the chances for a breakthrough-- just four days before automatic tax hikes and spending cuts hit. >> brown: then, we turn to india. ray suarez looks at the violent protests and public anger sparked by the gang rape of a young woman. >> warner: john merrow has the story of a group of california charter schools that aim to be the model-ts of education. >> america has lots of terrific schools. people open great schools every year, but they typically open just one. nobody has figured out how to mass produce high quality, cost effective schools. >> brown: we remember general norman schwarzkopf-- the man who commanded american-led forces in the persian gulf war known as "desert storm." >> warner: plus, mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing s
. thank you. >> brown: the final weekend has now arrived before the fiscal cliff hits on new year's day and with it, more than $600 million in tax hikes and spending cuts. in a last bid for a deal, president obama stated his terms face-to-face to top republicans and democrats. >> congressional leaders arrive ted white house this afternoon for their first group meeting with the president since november 16th. vice president biden and treasury secretary timothy geithner also attend. but there was little to suggest the makings of an 11th hour bargain. a source familiar with the meeting told the newshour its president is sticking with his offer from last friday. it included keeping the bush era tax break force the middle class but raising tax rates on incomes over 250,000 dollars a year. president also wants to extend unemployment benefits for some 2 million americans who will lose them in the new year. and a proposal would delay any spending cuts. the president asked for an up or down vote on his plan unless there is a counter proposal that will pass both the house and senate. a little more than an hour after the meeting began, several participants were seen l
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